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The three-month Ilocano Language course, the first part of the two-fold Ilocano Language Acquisition and Immersion for the New Generation (iLAING), commenced on 15 October 2016 at the Filipino Community Center in Waipahu, Hawaii. It will conclude on 17 December 2016.

Now on its second year, the iLAING is an integrated Ilocano program consisting of two components: (1) the Ilocano language learning consisting of 20 lessons focused on specific key result areas in Ilocano language learning as a heritage and a second language and wherein students aim to obtain a Level One proficiency in Ilocano oral communication; and (2) the Ilocano language exposure and immersion to be undertaken by top five (5 students) of the language class, which consists of field programs and cultural exchanges in the Philippines.

iLAING is a collaborative effort of the Philippine Consulate General in Honolulu, the Filipino Community Center, the Candonians of Hawaii, the United Laoagueños of Hawaii and the University of Hawaii Ilocano Program. Major sponsors and partners include the Philippine Airlines (PAL) and Western Union.

During the opening ceremony, Philippine Consul General Gina Jamoralin, Filipino Community Center Executive Director Donnie Juan, Filipino community leaders Helen Grace Go of the Candonians of Hawaii and Merilla Gonzales of the United Laoagueños of Hawaii, and PAL Area Manager Soledad Solleza, together with Hawaii legislators of Filipino descent Senate Vice President Will Espero and Councilmembers Joey Manahan and Brandon Elefante, gave inspirational remarks and shared their views on the significance of learning a new language and being proud of one’s cultural heritage. (END).